Sydney-based Floatspace, ‘Airbnb for boating experiences’, has tapped Amaysin co-founder Rolf Hansen as an investor as the startup seeks to raise $3m in a round of A series.
Hansen backed the pre-Series A SAFE rating of this boat and yacht charter marketplace, joining Floatspace’s board of directors.
He joins Airtasker founder and CEO Tim Fung as one of the startup’s backers and advisors.
Floatspace was founded by CEO Hugh Treseder and launched in 2020, just before Covid hit, as a concierge service for hourly boat and yacht charters, chartering private boats for corporate events. business and celebrations such as weddings, birthdays, hen and buck parties.
It now has nearly 250 boats to its name. Top of the range is the Gold Coast-based ‘YOT Club’ trimaran, which can accommodate up to 399 people, costing $3,750 an hour, making the Victoria Star a Yarra River cruise from Melbourne for 1 $200 per hour for up to 350 guests, look like a bargain. Prices start at around $160 per hour for a runabout.
The company now has boats available in NSW, Queensland, WA and Victoria, as well as Auckland, New Zealand and this year has expanded into the US market, launching in Miami, Florida and establishing a team in the field. The Hamptons in upstate New York are now also on the books.
Hugh Treseder said June had seen 400% year-over-year growth and they were now looking to expand the Australian and USA teams. More than 16,000 guests boarded a boat reserved on the platform.
“We’re delighted with the success we’ve had in Australia, but we’re just getting started in terms of the impact we’ll have on sailing experiences around the world,” he said.
“Our recent launch in Florida exceeded our expectations with over 90 charter boats already on board and happy customer reviews starting to flow daily.”
Treseder said the pandemic has created a boom in interest in the nautical lifestyle as people increasingly seek domestic leisure alternatives to overseas travel.
“Our mission at Floatspace is to let you have fun on the water with your friends or family,” he said.
“Through our innovative platform and technology, our goal is to make this experience as easy as booking a restaurant or an Uber.”
Along with Fung and Hansen, Floatspace counts Siteminder founder Mike Ford and Business Catalyst’s Bardia Housman among its early investors
After recruiting Jeff Lewis, the former vice president of technology at Viator, and Jason Smith, the former chief SEO officer at TripAdvisor to his leadership team, he now hopes to raise $3 million in a Series A on a $12 million pre-money valuation.
Treseder said the funds will be used to solidify Floatspace’s leadership position in Australia and accelerate growth in the United States, as well as create new innovations in customer experience.